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Hos geldiniz and welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul and airport arrival transfer to our hotel. Spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring this great Ottoman city on foot or simply relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Today we enjoy a guided tour of the old city, with highlights including the Blue Mosque, famed for its stunning blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets; the nearby ruinous Hippodrome which was once the scene of chariot races and political activities in Byzantine and later Ottoman times, and Hagia Sofia, constructed as a grand basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 We also visit Topkapi Palace - residence of the sultans for almost four centuries and have time to shop in the Grand Bazaar.
Today we make the long journey to Cappadocia, stopping en route in Ankara, the nation’s capital to visit the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This is the burial place of the national hero who founded the modern Republic of Turkey. After a picturesque trip along the Salt Lake, we arrive at the UNESCO-listed Cappadocia.
There is an option (pay locllay) to take an early morning hot air balloon flight over the lunar landscape today before we tour the stunning Cappadocia region - an extraordinary national treasure. A guided tour of the region includes the World Heritage listed site of the Göreme Valley to see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches and chapels, Kaymaki Underground City and Uchisar Castle. An optional Turkish dinner and folklore evening is available tonight (see enhance your holiday page).
Early morning departure for Pamukkale. En route we visit the a 13th century Seljukian Sultanhan Caravanserai and Konya, where we tour the monastery of the Mevlana whirling dervishes and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi.
After breakfast we tour the ancient town of Hierapolis with its magnificent Necropolis and paddle through the white calcium terraces of Pammukale. Travelling on to Selcuk we visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before continuing on to Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean Coast.
Today we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, we’ll see the Great Theatre, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis, ancient public toilets and a public brothel. From Ephesus we travel to the beautiful village of Sirince, where there’s the opportunity to enjoy a spot of shopping at the markets and taste the delicious wines that the village is renowned for before returning to Izmir.
Early this morning we visit the Roman ruins of Pergamum. Its impressive temples, library and medical facilities made it a renowned cultural and political centre of its time. We travel on to Troy where we enjoy a tour of the ruins and see a replica of the Trojan wooden horse. The legend of the lost city of Troy was brought alive by its rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed nine ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000BC! Continuing our journey, we reach Cannakale, our base for the next two nights.
Crossing the Dardenelles today we visit the WWI battlefields and memorials of the Gallipoli Region, where we can pay our respects to the fallen ANZACs during this important centenary year and lay 2 wreathes. Our guided tour of the region includes the WWI open air museum, ANZAC Cove, where the soldiers first landed, The Nek, Johnston’s Jolly, Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery, and Chunuk Blair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery. We’ll also explore many of the fortified trenches amongst the scrub which are still clearly visible today. Later we enjoy a boat trip to the landing beaches with the opportunity for swimming and snorkelling.
This morning we return to the peninsula to explore the Helles Region of Gallipoli, visiting S-Beach, V-Beach and W-Beach, as well as various monuments including the Turkish Monument, Helles (British) Monument, The Lancashire Landing Monument and Alcitepe Village. After our guided tour we travel back to Istanbul, arriving late afternoon.
Our tour ends after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport.
The earliest settle of Kusadasi dates back to the Leleges people in 3000BC and all through the ages, Kusadasi was ...